Business owner's potty solution a problem for city

An Olympia business owner who got tired of the homeless sleeping and leaving all kinds of "waste" in her doorway took action.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Anne Buck was tired of being on poop patrol.

“Just a mess, disgusting,” is how Buck described the almost daily piles of human waste, needles, and trash left behind by the homeless sleeping in her building's alcove.

She's owned her downtown spice store, Buck's Fifth Avenue, since 1973.

A year and a half ago she started noticing a problem in her entryway.

“There’d be people sleeping there,” said Buck, “And poop and pee…I’m trying to run a business.”

She decided to buy lattice walls and a metal locking door to enclose the alcove after business hours. It's eliminated the problem, said Buck.

While Buck’s thrilled, the city’s code enforcement office is not.

“It’s not consistent with our national history registry requirements. It’s not consistent with our building and fire requirements either,” said Keith Stahley with the City of Olympia.

He said Buck can make changes to her alcove, but not without city permission.

Stahley also noted the city is increasing the number of public restrooms downtown from one to five this year.

Buck said she may appeal the code violations she received in the mail and has hired an attorney.

Copyright 2017 KING


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